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New York State Amish Country

newyorkstate-amish2A road trip this past Labour Day Weekend took us for an interesting ride through New York state which so happens to be  New York State Amish Country.

Living just across the river of the Nation’s Capital means there is no shortage of things to do and beautiful places to visit. However, seeing family comes first in my books, so we were headed to Lake George to camp with our daughter and her family. The most scenic route from Ottawa to Lake George seemed to be crossing the border at Ogdensburg, New York. Since I knew that route would take us through Amish country, I was prepared to catch a glimpse here and there of Amish folk going about their business in a horse and buggy.

Not unlike many people, I have always held a fascination for the Amish, and often that thought I would love to personally chat with them. Lo and behold, the opportunity to do so arose in Heuvelton, New York, when I spotted a couple of buggies pulled by horses filled with weaved baskets. These Amish people were preparing to set up a stand to sell the handmade baskets.

Here and now I could ask a million questions, IF they would allow me to, of course. I also wanted to snap a few pictures, but was informed that they were not allowed to have their picture taken as this represents symbols, he said. My first question…How do YOU pronounce Amish? Answer: Aaaamish…but people call us Ahhhmish. Next question…Do you eat junk food? Yes, we do…love pizza and ice cream. Do Amish people get cancer? Yes he said, his mother in law has cancer and has had chemotherapy. Are you allowed to drink? Only wine for medicinal purposes, drinking beer would mean punishment.

newyorkstate-amishHe also did say he knew there are a lot of stories out there among the English about the Amish….with only partial truths. Of course, I had to inquire, so is everyone who is not Amish called English by your people? Yes, he said. Unfortunately, another car stopped and that cut short our conversation. Of course, I made the purchase of a lazy susan basket that I will cherish for years to come as l look back on that trip — heading through NewYork State on a Labour Day weekend — and the conversation with a quaint young Amish man.

Article written and pictures taken by Sylvia Bullard